I am new to fishing (saltwater) and recently a friend has taken me to DeGroff Park in Lighthouse Point to fish the intracostal. I had a great time and have been back several times since. I am catching alot of fish but nothing of size. Small Blues, Snappers and grunts. How can I target bigger fish?? If I'm catching the smaller ones I should be able to catch bigger fish in the area right? Any advice would be much appreciated. Ohhh also some of the the fish I bring in are missing a tail or half its body.
Like above try different baits. It sounds like your using shrimp or squid. Finger mullet is a good bait to start with either free lined or fished on bottom. Also try some lures like DOA's, or mirrorlures. It takes time but keep trying on different tides and keep trade of the times/tides you caught fish. Increase your prime time fishing hour will increase your catching
I use a 6' cast net and can usual catch plenty of mullet if they are around. I am going up to an 8' next time I go to bass pro though. The mullet have thinned out down here lately. During the mullet run a live mullet should produce plenty of action.
I usually fish them live on a circle hook. I keep one on the bottom that I let sit and another one free lined. If I'm short on bait then I will cut them up to last longer. The live ones tend to get more of what I would consider a target species. Dead ones sitting on the bottom will most likely result in sting rays and sharks. They can be fun to catch, but not what I am after. The live ones have been more productive when looking for Snook and things like that.
Let a live bait soak and use the shrimp and squid to occupy time in between bites on the larger baits.
Try chumming a bit? Tie a chum bag to a low hanging limb or secure it to the seawall right there behind the condo. This will bring in the bait fish close to you to net. Plus, it will also attract more snapper and grunts for you fishing pleasure.
Live bait, under a cork or balloon will produce big jacks, snook, tarpon etc